“Don’t forget to take your vitamins!” How many times have we heard about the need to make sure we meet the daily recommended requirement for the multitude of vitamin and mineral supplements that are intended to keep us healthy? What we don’t hear quite as often is the danger in combining certain medications with over-the-counter supplements – particularly for older adults.
With the vast majority of seniors – 87% – taking at least one prescription medication, and many taking more than five of them, it’s important to understand the risks involved in how they interact with vitamins and minerals, and even with certain types of foods. In some cases, mixing medications can result in a reduced effectiveness of the meds, along with a plethora of more serious health risks.
In an effort to keep seniors safe and well, Enhanced Home Care shares the following helpful tips related to medication and supplement interactions:
- Keep a list – and share it. Prepare a list of all the medications your senior loved one is taking, including over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol or allergy relief products, and vitamin/mineral supplements. Include dosage amounts, how often each medication is taken, and at what time of day. Then share the list with your senior loved one’s primary care physician and pharmacist to ensure the medication regimen is both safe and effective.
- Do your homework. A great online tool is available, the Drug Interactions Checker, that allows you to enter a list of medications into the database and run a report instantly to determine if there are any contraindications. It even includes potential food interaction warnings, such as any concerns about drinking alcoholic beverages with a particular medication.
- Be especially vigilant during hospitalizations. Often, when an older adult is hospitalized, medical personnel at the hospital will prescribe new medications on top of those already prescribed. Add these new prescriptions to the senior’s list, run through the Drug Interactions Checker, and share with his or her primary care physician to reduce the risk of problems.
Additionally, Enhanced Home Care’s Kansas City home health care experts can help keep seniors safe and healthy in a variety of ways. We can transport and accompany seniors to medical appointments and procedures, keep a current list of medications being taken, pick up prescriptions, provide medication reminders, prepare healthy meals, and so much more. Contact us at 913-327-0000 to get started on improving wellbeing for your senior loved one.